Robert Gill Sims

Edited by Henry H. Mitchell.

Biographical Data

Robert G. Sims was born August 11, 1838. On November 15, 1865, he married Felix G. Wingfield (born April 23, 1841). Robert Sims died at Fort Thornburg, Ashley, Utah,5 on February 7, 1886 at 1:30 a.m.1 In some records, Robert's wife's name is recorded as Ina Wingfield.3

Robert was the son of John Hampton Sims, Sr. and Mary M. Brown Sims, of Woodville, Mississippi. Robert is described as 5' 9" tall, and having dark hair, dark complexion, and blue eyes.2 He was named after his paternal uncle-by-marriage Col. Robert M. Gill (1787-1828).3

Military Service

Captain Robert Sims served as Adjutant of the 21st Mississippi Infantry during the Civil War. Also in the 21st were Robert's brothers Lt. Col. John Hampton Sims, Jr. (regimental commander) and William E. Sims (Sergeant Major of the regiment). Robert Sims was wounded at Gettysburg, captured at Sailor's Creek; and imprisoned at the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C., and at Johnson's Island, Sandusky, Ohio.

His official military records include the following:

A Wartime Anecdote

Capt. Lane W. Brandon, a fellow officer in the 21st Mississippi, recalled the Battle of Malvern Hill during a Memorial of the Soldiers Association in Woodville on April 5, 1887:

We fell back preserving our alignment, until Adjt. Robert Sims ran in front of the Regiment and gave the command to forward, that the Louisianians were going in on both flanks. Here we witnessed the awful grandeur of battle, with all of its thrilling emotions. But this battle was a useless sacrifice of life, and I only mention it to show how the theory of military tactics can be carried out under fire.2

Later Life

After the war, Robert Sims was a planter on Deer Creek, Washington County, Mississippi. In 1875, he was a County Assessor, and in 1878 President of the Board of Supervisors of the County.4

His wife died in 1878. They had no children.4

The Woodville Republican carried a notice on May 10, 1879, that “Capt. R. G. Sims, a former citizen of this county, is announced as a candidate for Sheriff of Washington County, Mississippi.”2 An 1891 obituary for his brother William hints that Robert may have become a Republican, as did his brother William (and their former commanding officer Gen. James Longstreet), thus falling out of favor with the local newspapers.

Around the beginning of 1887, he was appointed General Agent and Custodian of Fort Thornburg, on the Utah Reservation. He died there after an illness of about two weeks.4


  1. Dates of birth, death, and marriage were discovered in April 2002 by William E. Sims' great-grandson the Rev. Mark E. Waldo “in back of Malachi, and the end of Volume III” in a three-volume Old Testament from the Sims family.
  2. Provided by Mrs. James Gross, Woodville, Mississippi.
  3. Provided by Dudley Sims Hinds, Atlanta, Georgia.
  4. William P. Bacon, Class Secretary of Yale University Class of 1858, Biographical Record of the Class of Fifty-Eight, Yale University, The Record Press, New Britain, Connecticut, 1908.
  5. Robert Sims' death near Ashley, Uintah County, Utah, and in a position of responsibility at Fort Thornburg, has led the editor of this page to speculate that Sims Peak in Uintah County, Utah, is likely named for Robert Sims. However, Elaine Carr at the Regional History Center at the Uintah County Library wrote the following on May13, 2009: “…We have a local historian who has compiled Name Origins for the Northeastern Regions of Utah. In this compilation he gives this for Sims Peak: ‘A hunter with the Ernest Caldwell hunting group got lost. Doing as he was told Sims built a fire and waited to be found. Being the highest point around, his fire was spotted. Ernest and his group jokingly called it Sims Peak. Located on Dry Fork Mountain.’ Ernest Caldwell was a well-known person in the Uinta Basin and lived in the Dry Fork Area where he had a sawmill. I talked to the man who wrote the [account of the] name origin for Sims Peak. He is very confident [of] this story.…” — Sincerely, Elaine Carr